Is God Blessing Tim Tebow?

Title: Is God Blessing Tim Tebow?

Text: Genesis 39:2-5, 20-23, 6-10; 45:5, 7

Time: February 2nd, 2012

 

A strange development occurred in the world of football last year, in the NFL in 2011 – Denver Bronco’s quarterback Tim Tebow caused quite a stir by seemingly winning football games by the power of God. Yes, sports commentators were all talking about what happened to the Denver Broncos after professing Christian Tim Tebow became their full-time quarterback mid-season – they won almost all their games with him leading. And since Tebow is an outspoken, unapologetic, articulate evangelical Christian, people started wondering if perhaps the Almighty was helping him win football games for Denver. Really. Sportscasters were discussing among themselves and with fans whether or not divine intervention had anything to do with Denver’s turn-around season. The Broncos and Tebow made it into the post-season playoffs, and the question on everyone’s mind was – is God helping Tebow or the Broncos or both? Which raises an even larger question about the ways of God and his willingness to intervene on earth. Is it possible that God Almighty really was blessing Tim Tebow? If so, why would God bless him, and not, say, Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions – or any other NFL player or football team? Now most sports writers covering NFL football raised the question of Tebow and divine intervention half joking, but there was enough strangeness and uncertainty about what was happening with the Broncos under Tebow that the question was taken half seriously also. But as Christians we need to think about the questions being asked about Tim Tebow and his Christian faith, and we need to try to answer them, not only for ourselves, but for others who might ask us. Does God really bless certain people, for example, like Tim Tebow? And if so, why does God bless certain people? Is it possible to get God’s blessing, and if so, how? Some of the things said about Tebow were either exaggerated or untrue. For example, there were some reports that he prays for his team to win football games. But Tebow has never said that himself. From all indications, he prays that he and his team play the best football possible, and for God’s protection. So the question really isn’t, “Is God answering Tebow’s prayer for victory on the football field?” Football is a game, it’s a pastime, it’s entertainment – and while some fans begin taking the game too seriously, we can be sure that God Almighty doesn’t lose track of his priorities. But as I see it, it all boils down to this simple question – Is God blessing Tim Tebow? I’d like to attempt to answer this question by dealing with three related topics: one, does God bless individuals at all?; two, what makes us think God is blessing Tim Tebow?; and three, if God is blessing individuals, like Tim Tebow, how can we get God’s blessing on our life also? Let’s look at a few Bible passages that help us understand these questions.

 

First, does God bless individuals and the things they are involved in? “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphor put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphor had, both in the house and in the field,” Genesis 39:2-5. Here’s the familiar account of a very famous person in Jewish history, Joseph, descendent of Abraham, and a patriarch. The account clearly shows that Joseph had the blessing of God upon his life so that what he did succeeded. But what is even more interesting, and pertinent to our topic today, is that not only did God bless Joseph, but he also blessed the household where Joseph worked. In other words, it wasn’t only Joseph that got blessed, it was those around him that got blessed by God also, because of Joseph. So we see from the Bible that, yes, it’s possible for God to bless individuals, but not only that, it’s possible to bless those around the blessed individual, because of the blessed individual. Potiphor’s household and business activities were blessed because he employed the blessed man Joseph. Now it’s pretty clear how this applies to the Tim Tebow question. If God is truly blessing Tim Tebow, then it would make all the sense in the world that the team he plays for would also be blessed with Tebow as quarterback. As we’ve already established, God does bless individuals for different reasons that I’ll get into with my next point. But let’s for now assume that what appears to be the case really is the case, that is, Tim Tebow is blessed by God and when he leads the Denver Broncos as quarterback, they achieve some degree of success. That would fit the Joseph pattern in Genesis of the Bible. God blesses Joseph, and as a consequence, the household of Potiphor is also blessed. God blesses Tim Tebow, and as a consequence, the Denever Broncos football team is blessed. After all, the Broncos weren’t wining before Tebow became quarterback, and after he took over leadership in that position, they started winning. But not only did they start winning, but they started winning strangely, almost miraculously, by coming from behind and winning at the last second. It was as if Tebow was blessed and the Denver Broncos benefited from that blessing with victories. Now it wasn’t total and complete success, because after all, they did lose some games too, eventually losing in the second round of the playoffs. But still, if God was blessing Tim Tebow, it makes sense that the Broncos would begin to succeed like they did. So, according to the Bible, God does bless individuals at times, and this blessing spills over to others sometimes also. But the question still remains, “Was God blessing Tebow specifically?

 

Second, is Tebow blessed, and if so, why? “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did,” Genesis 39:20-23. So we fast-forward the Joseph story mentioned above to the place where Joseph finds himself in jail after being framed in Potiphor’s household. But even in the prison he’s blessed by God and blessings spill over to the prison warden and the other prisoners as well. The old saying, “You can’t keep a good man down,” comes to mind. Now is Tim Tebow the football player really like the biblical character Joseph, blessed in whatever he does and spreads the blessings of God around to others as well? Again, it seems it fit the pattern. Sportscasters say that he’s got a bad throwing arm, that he can’t pass like a pro, but that didn’t stop him from turning the Broncos season around, making it into the playoffs, and winning in the first round. Sports commentators noted that the victories Tebow led Denver to were just barely wins, that they weren’t commanding victories. But hey, a win is a win in the NFL. Denver made it into the playoffs whether they just squeaked in or not. It’s really quite remarkable how a backup quarterback could come in and take his team into the playoffs by engineering close but important victories without a strong passing arm. What was it that got Denver in the post-season without a great passing quarterback? On some occasions, Denver’s kicker made the big play to win the game. At other times, players on the opposing team made stupid mental mistakes that Denver capitalized on to win games. Still other times it appears luck or chance was in Denver’s favor to enable them to win. But these are all thing that you’d expect if Tebow were blessed by God. But the other big question is, “Why would God bless Tim Tebow?” Now that’s an even harder question than whether or not God blesses individuals at all. Sometimes the Bible gives the reason why God blesses certain individuals, but other times it doesn’t. In the case of Joseph in the Bible, he was blessed by God in order to save the line of Abraham from famine and death, “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. . . . But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance,” Genesis 45:5, 7. In Tebow’s case, it’s a little harder to understand why God would bless him so, unless it’s to raise up a Christian witness among football fans and an entire nation of sports enthusiasts. So far, Tebow has been a good witness for faith in Jesus Christ; he’s conducted himself admirably, and probably many people are impressed with his Christianity and might consider following his example and become a Christian – or at least think about becoming a Christian like Tim Tebow. Maybe that’s the reason God is blessing him, to raise up a witness for God in a godless world. We’ll have to wait and see more of God’s overall plan as it develops.

 

Third, we too can receive God’s blessings if we are careful to trust and obey the Lord. “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said to him, ‘Come to bed with me.’ But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing form me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her,” Genesis 39:6-10. Another thing about Joseph, he was a man of faith and obedience to God. He refused to give into temptation and violate the moral commands of God. He took devotion to God seriously and was careful to obey God’s will. As far as we can tell, Tim Tebow is also a man of faith and character. Now granted, we don’t know much about his personal life, but he was reportedly raised by Christian missionary parents who probably taught him faith in Jesus and obedience to the will of God. From all indications, he takes his Christian faith seriously and tries to do what’s right. We need to pray for him because he’s under a lot of pressure as a high-profile athlete. I’m sure the temptations are tremendous for all professional athletes. But the blessings of God are possible for anyone and everyone who is willing to trust and obey God. The Bible promises hundreds, thousands of blessings for faithful believers. It doesn’t promise fame and fortune like Tim Tebow now has as a pro football player, but it promises blessing in many forms. We need to remember that wealth isn’t always a blessing, neither is fame. Sometimes these things can be a curse if they come at the wrong time, in the wrong way. So we need to continue to pray for Tim Tebow, that God continues to bless him as a Christian witness to the world. He’s been given a golden opportunity to represent the Lord in a secular, rebellious, lost world. Maybe the purpose of his success and fame is to point people to the Christian faith, to call people back to God. We must admit that just getting people talking about the possibility of God intervening in football games or in any way in our world today is a step in the right direction. Getting people to talk about God in any positive way is good. Let Tebow’s witness inspire us to get serious about our faith and obedience to God as well. We can have blessed lives – maybe not the same way that Tim Tebow is experiencing God’s blessing – but in other, just as important ways. If we seriously trust and obey God and God’s Word, we can expect to see our lives blessed. Are you serious about your faith in Christ? Are you careful to follow God’s will in all matters? God’s interested in blessing more persons than just Tim Tebow. He wants to bless you today. Are you willing to put yourself in a position for God to bless you? Have you yielded your heart to Jesus? Have you turned away from sin and rebellion against God? Do you trust in Christ’s death on the cross for forgiveness of sin? If so, you are blessed by God. And now, let’s walk in that blessing, and receive the blessings God gives us – in whatever form that might be.

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2 Responses to “Is God Blessing Tim Tebow?”

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